Germany: Cologne celebrates Germany's largest LGBT+ pride parade

More than a million members of the LGBT+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community and their allies flocked to Cologne on Sunday to take part in one of Europe's largest pride parades.

The attendance for this year's Christopher Street Day parade, which marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots in New York, was similar to last year's, which saw 1.2 million people take part. Drag star and Eurovision-winning singer Conchita Wurst took part in this year's festivities, as well as former Spice Girl Mel C and singer Haddaway.

Around 150 different groups signed up to march in this year's parade. In contrast to other pride parades in Germany, organizers in Cologne have made their event a political demonstration, purposefully limiting the size of the floats to maintain its protest atmosphere.

But the parade was also a celebration of the city itself. Carnival songs were peppered into the parade performances, which wound through Cologne's old town. When asked what makes Cologne's parade so special in Germany, many were quick to answer.

"Cologne is more tolerant than other cities," said Birgit, a 55-year-old who is from the city.

"It's also more multicultural," added another woman, who gave her name as Hörnchen. "And," she joked, "it has better beer."

Both women said how important it was to come out to the parade and continue to push for equal rights, especially when it comes to LGBT+ parents. In Germany, even if a lesbian couple are married, only the woman who gives birth is recognized as a child's mother. The other partner has to adopt in order to be given the same parental rights. Read more via DW